Posted by: KarenOStein | October 9, 2017

News Engagement Day: Spain Approves Extradition of Russian Hacker

This week, as Spain suppressed the Catalan bid for independence, its National Court approved the United States’ request to extradite indicted United Russia party hacker Pyotr Levashov (Reuters, October 3, 2017). Given the case’s potential to shed light on Russian interference in our elections, I reached out for reactions.

My husband follows national politics and frequently consumes news on Facebook, so I retold the story to him there. His response mirrored mine:

Mark response

My 15-year-old son’s reaction was circumspect (yet astute), leading me to realize that I had perhaps used too neutral a voice.

Nathan response

Therefore, in my next retelling, I tried a more emotional emphasis. My dad is a retired attorney and Connecticut native, so I emailed him a version mentioning the Connecticut-based prosecutors. His response combined his usual humor, legal analysis, independent politics, and love of New Haven pizza).

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 5.01.11 PM

Finally, I shared a politically tinged version via Facebook Messenger with a liberal friend who is active on Messenger. Her granular response demonstrated that she understood and was thinking about the U.S.’s next move in the Russia investigation.

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 5.12.27 PM

In retrospect, I would have chosen a more familiar story that required less information to get everyone on board. I found it necessary to explain the backstory, and this made those emotional, gut reactions elusive, despite my careful choice of communication channels for each person. In the process, to make the story resonate more emotionally with each person, I learned to emphasize particular themes and take a less neutral stance than the original article did.

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